A solid group of 12 horses have been named in the final field for the Listed $120,000 2012 Christmas Stakes (1200m) which will take place at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Among the top chances in the Caulfield feature is Michael Moroney’s lightly-raced mare Bonnie Mac who will be making her return to the track after an operation aimed to help improve her breathing.
The five-year-old arrived in Australia from New Zealand on the back of two consecutive victories and took the streak to five by winning her first three starts on Australian soil including the Listed Proud Miss Stakes at Morphetville.
She then went to Queensland but struggled to adapt to the right-handed tracks and also had breathing issues which Moroney believes have been rectified by the recent operation.
Another well-regarded runner in the Christmas Stakes field is Adelaide gelding Undeinably who is coming off a runner-up finish in the Listed Doveton Stakes on December 8.
Sea Lord will have to bounce back from a last-start seventh in the Listed MSS Security Sprint at Flemington last month but showed during the spring carnival he can perform at this level with a win and a number of other consistent performance at stakes level.
The five-year-old had a number of problems in the past but has overcome them since joining Stephen Brown at Flemington after previously being based in Sydney.
“He had feet problems and wind problems, but we haven’t encountered any of those,” Brown said.
“I can’t really put my finger on it but I’m just doing my own thing and it seems to be working.”
Others included in the Christmas Stakes field are Tony Vasil’s Veewap, last-start runner-up Diplomatic Force and the Jarrod McLean-trained Youbolt.
Christmas Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||706192468x||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||Jamie Mott||13||60kg||101|
|2||9067x00x10||ELUSIVE TOUCH||Shane A Edwards||Damien Thornton (a)||8||58.5kg||98|
|3||684172x6x2||DIPLOMATIC FORCE||Wayne Nichols||Craig Robertson||3||58kg||97|
|4||6346×54135||VEEWAP||Tony Vasil||Vlad Duric||11||58kg||97|
|5||569×114417||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||Luke Currie||5||57.5kg||96|
|6||x381120x24||ALPHA PROXIMA||Leon Corstens||Steven Arnold||7||57kg||95|
|7||267x99x8x2||UNDENIABLY||Mark Kavanagh||Jake Noonan (a)||9||55.5kg||92|
|8||311x26184x||GOLD SAND||Lee & Shannon Hope||Reece Wheeler||10||55kg||91|
|9||511x11190x||BONNIE MAC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Nicholas Hall||12||54.5kg||94|
|10||x01264x528||BY THE WAY||Mark Lewis||Jason Benbow||2||54.5kg||90|
|11||1023891×34||YOUBOLT||Jarrod McLean||Dean Yendall||6||54kg||86|
|13||x117x2289x||ROSES IN THE GLEN||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||4||54kg||78|